Skip to main content

 Dr. James "Gym" McFarland Award Recipients 



The award is presented annually to Campus Recreation's outstanding student employee as voted on by the Campus Recreation Team. Students nominate themselves as they complete an application and write a letter explaining why they believe they are qualified to receive the award. The Campus Recreation Team reviews and evaluates the applicants to identify the annual recipient.





2013-2014 Award Recipient

For the second consecutive year the McFarland Award recognized the outstanding student employee in each of the five Campus Recreation program/operational areas.  The
 2013-2014 honorees were then the finalists for the McFarland Award.  The winners in each area were Ali Doyle in Aquatics, Skylar Hoffman in Fitness/Group Exercise, Tyler Settelmaier from Intramural Sports, Andrew Millick in Outdoor Adventures and Emily McKissick from the Welcome Center.  The award was presented by Janie McFarland.

Ali Doyle was selected at the 2013-2014 McFarland Award winner.  Ali worked for four years with Campus Recreation.  She primarily served as a lifeguard, but also officiated flag football, basketball and soccer intramural sports, taught ROCK spinning and swim instructions as well as working as a substitute at the Welcome Center.  She credits these experiences in enhancing her time management and leadership skills, ability to remain calm under stress, communication skills and interacting with diverse populations of people.  As a student teacher during the spring semester she found herself using these skills in the class room. 

Alli's Comments:
"I love participating in events at the ARC.  Sometimes I think I spend as much time at the ARC as I do at my own apartment.  While working and participating in many events at the ARC, I have met many wonderful people and made friendships that will continue long after graduation.  The ARC is a wonderful place to work and I am very fortunate to be a campus Recreation employee.  Over the past four years I have grown significantly as a person and know that I have the ARC to thank for a significant amount of my development."
   GO ROCK!!!

2012-2013 Award Recipient

The McFarland Award took a new direction this year recognizing the outstanding student employee in each of the five Campus Recreation program/operation areas, Aquatics, Fitness/Group Exercise, Intramural Sports, Outdoor Adventures and Welcome Center Operations.  These five winners were then the finalists for the McFarland Award.  The winners in each area were Ben Tawney in Aquatics, Sara Kovacs in Fitness/Group Exercise, Jessica Hall from Intramural Sports, Taylor Ford in Outdoor Adventures and Blaze Foster from the Welcome Center. 

Exercise Science senior Sara Kovacs emerged as the 2012-2013 McFarland Award recipient.  Sara worked with Campus Recreation since December of 2011 as an Exercise Specialist in the Russell Wright Fitness Center and as a Group Exercise Instructor.  The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native has maintained a 3.75 GPA and was a Campus Recreation All Star in July of 2012.  She demonstrated her teamwork, leadership, participation and enthusiasm characteristics in both Campus Recreation programming and at the university serving as the Student Representative for the Presidential Inauguration and Saturday Showcase.   

Sara will be continuing her education at the University of Pittsburgh as she pursues her master’s degree in Health, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease.  She secured a graduate assistantship in the Health and Physical Activity Department. 

Sara's Comments:
My experience at Slippery Rock University would not be the same without all of the events and activities that campus recreation has offered me in the past four years. The ARC has become my second home. It has helped to mold me into the person that I am today, and has strongly influenced the academic and career path I plan to pursue in the future.

2011-2012 Award Recipient

Derek Crane Huston, a public health major from Albion, has been presented the 2011-2012 Dr. James “Gym” McFarland Award as part of the recent campus Recreation’s Spring Semester Senior Send Off Celebration in the Robert N. Aebersold Student Recreation Center.
Crane Huston, who has worked as an intramural sports supervisor and official with Campus Recreation since the fall of 2009, was recognized three times as a Campus Recreation monthly All Star in March 2009, November 2010 and Holiday Season 2011/2012.
Derek's Comments: "
As a seasoned intramural sports supervisor the past few years, I hope that I have helped lay the foundations for the other supervisors, referees, and players alike. Even if I helped make only one student say that they loved the program, that they wanted to participate in other sports, or even if they just enjoyed a particular sport they participated in, then I feel that I have been successful on my journey. I have always felt that I could have the power to change the world through my words and actions, but if I can’t do it all at once, then I will do my best to change it one person at a time." GO ROCK!!!

2010-2011 Award Recipient

The 2010-2011 academic year marked the fifth year of the Dr. James "Gym" McFarland Award.  The award was presented to Ally DeShurko during Campus Recreation's annual Spring Semester Senior Send Off celebration.  Dr. McFarland's wife, Janie, assisted in the presentation of the award.  Ally, who hails from Dayton, Ohio, began working with Campus Recreation in the fall semester of 2009 as an office assistant and welcome center monitor.  She was recognized as a Campus Recreation monthly All Star in November 2009 and maintains a GPA of 3.8 as a Resort Recreation Management/Tourism  major with a minor in Business Administration.  Ally's enthusiasm and passion for recreation and people are exhibited by her performance as a Campus Recreation student employee and her work as a  practicum student.   
Ally's Comments:  Working with Campus Recreation really helped propel my college career forward. I loved coming to work and interacting with all of the patrons and my fellow staff. In addition, the professional staff are wonderful mentors and were always there with professional advice and opportunities to learn. Working at the ARC has proved that recreation is definitely the right field for me, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work at the ARC for the past two years. I know I will use the skills I gained from working for Campus Recreation in my future career. Working at the ARC helped me become a better student and recreation professional by providing opportunities to go above and beyond and develop my leadership and teamwork skills, as well as enthusiasm. I am so honored to receive this award, it means so much to honor Dr. McFarland’s legacy by striving to be able to provide excellent fitness and recreation opportunities for everyone.

2009-2010 Award Recipient

Tyson Johnston received the 2009-2010 Dr. James ”Gym” McFarland Award.  Tyson graduated in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Geography/Environmental Studies degree.  He had a GPA of 3.5, and was a Campus Recreation employee his entire SRU career.  Tyson joined Campus Recreation after his participation in the Freshman Outdoor Adventure Experience.  He was immediately invited to SRU Outdoor Adventures Staff training.  He served in many areas of the ARC including as a  Climbing Wall Staff, Ski Lodge Staff, Outdoor Adventures Staff and trip leader, and group facilitator.  He also was very instrumental in many initiatives on campus with both Campus Recreation and through his participation as a SRU Student Government Association Vice President for 2 years.  He participated in the Green Bike Initiative, and was on the SRU team that rode bicycles in the Pittsburgh 250 Commissions’ Legacy Relay from Washington DC to Pittsburgh.
Tyson's Comments: “Having worked for Campus Recreation for the entirety of my undergraduate career, I had the chance to work with hundreds of different ARC patrons, ranging from the very young to the very old and the very skilled all the way down to the first-time novice.  The ARC provides a fun, safe atmosphere for everyone to recreate.  The professional Campus Recreation staff provided in-depth character and skill development that allowed me to successfully instruct and lead customers both in the ARC and in the field.  It is truly an honor to be the fourth recipient of the Dr. James "Gym" McFarland Award.” GO ROCK!!!

2008-2009 Award Recipient

Cody Bauman was chosen as the 2008-2009 recipient of the Dr. James "Gym" McFarland Award. Cody graduated spring semester 2009 with a degree in Elementary Education.  She has a GPA of 3.43 and has been a Campus Recreation employee since the fall semester of 2006.  During this time, she has worked a lifeguard, Cycle Aerobics Instructor, Climbing Wall belayer and member of the Outdoor Adventure staff.  She was one of the founders of the Brian’s Ride Triathlon who helped in organizing and conducting the event as well as a participant.  Money generated from this event goes toward sponsoring Brian’s Ride a now annual event that generates money for Cystic Fibrosis.  In addition Cody has been involved in Leave it Green, the Green Fund and Critical Mass bike rides.  
Cody's Comments: "
I can’t explain what an impact the opportunities that I have been able to experience while employed at the ARC have done for me.  My positions and my enthusiasm to constantly go beyond positions expectations have truly helped me to grow as an individual.  The ARC has not only offered me employment, but has introduced a family to me.  Campus Recreation has not only offered me employment, but has introduced a family to me.  I’m extremely grateful for every coworker, patron and professional staff relationship I have been able to create while working at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center.  This award in itself is a true example of what Campus Recreation is all about.  It’s about creating leaders, promoting teamwork, driving participation and building an outlet for enthusiasm." GO ROCK!!!

2007-2008 Award Recipient

Nick Scuilli was awarded the 2007-2008 Dr. James "Gym" McFarland Award. Nick was a member of the Campus Recreation Student Employee Team for two years. He was involved in a number of Campus Recreation activities including intramural sports, outdoor adventure programs, playing and serving as the president of the men's volleyball club. He was assisted in professional preparation as a Sport Management major by attending the PIRSA (Pennsylvania Intramural Recreational Sports Association) conference, the NIRSA (National Intramural Recreational Sports Association) Student Lead ON conference and assisting with Special Olympics and the National Women's Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. Throughout his involvement he has displayed the Dr. McFarland characteristics of Leadership, Enthusiasm and Teamwork.
Nick's Comments:"The last two years of my college career have been filled with great times working at the ARC and in Campus Recreation.  My co-workers and the professional staff helped make these unforgettable moments.  The ARC is the one place on campus where everyone wants to work.  I felt honored over the past two years to have worked for such a great team.  Campus Recreation is a great atmosphere to work and provides many opportunities for students to improve as a person.  I can't thank the Campus Recreation crew enough for everything over the past four years of my college career.  GO ROCK!"

2006-2007 Award Recipient

This initial recipient of the McFarland Award was Jason Foster. As a senior pursuing a double major in Sport Management and Marketing Jason carried a 3.6 GPA. He was employed with Campus Recreation since the spring of 2005 and was twice recognized as a Campus Recreation All Star.  Jason worked extensively with the National Women’s Wheel Chair Basketball tournament, volunteered to work early shifts, weekend duty and lock in rentals. 
Jason's Comments: “My college career and experience would have been entirely different without the activities that Campus Recreation provided.  I feel the most at home and most comfortable when I am at the ARC, working or playing, or on the IM softball fields or playing racquetball at the field house.  I could not even begin to express the gratitude I feel toward the professional staff, ARC co-workers and other SRU students for what they have contributed to my Campus Recreation Experience.  The one thing I can promise is that upon graduation one of my first purchases will be an ARC membership!  GO ROCK!”.

Students awarded the Dr. James "Gym" McFarland Award receive a check for $400.00. 




ARC Hours

This Week at the ARC

Upcoming Programs
and Events

Aebersold Student
Recreation Center (ARC)

ARC Academic Year Hours:
Mon-Thurs: 6am - 11pm
Fri: 6am - 9pm
Sat: 9am - 9pm
Sun: Noon - 9pm

Play is prohibited at the MAC (McFarland Recreational Sports Complex) when the RED FLAG is flying. The MAC will be closed from December 1-March 1.

When the University is on a 2 hour delay due to weather, the ARC will not open up until 10:00 a.m..